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The ZEVOLUTION EDIT Serie was originally started in 2003 by ZE records co-Founder Michel Esteban, with the excellent Optimo re-work of James White’s « Contort Yourself » released as 12’ vinyl on ZE. Then Manchester DJ Greg Wilson, submited several Edits from various English Djs, but the project was shelved. Guido the famoust French Dj relaunched the concept a couple of years later and attracted the attention of Quinton Scott from Strunt Records who developed the idea with ZE’s Michel Esteban.

Since then, as the culture for disco re-edits has burgeoned, ZE has continued to be a prime source for DJs with dozens of re-edits surfacing in recent years, re-working and extending the label’s experimental post-punk grooves for maximum dancefloor punch. Many of the edits have become classics in their own right – on this album, we feature Todd Terje’s « Friendly Children » re-work of Gichy Dan’s « On A Day Like Today », looping its nagging kids chorus, and Soul Mekanik’s dubbed out treatment of Kid Creole’s ‘Annie’, still a staple in many DJ boxes. Others have surfaced briefly on limited white label 12s or on blog sites – the prolific Social Disco Club from Porto and Idjut Boys, whose brilliant re-touch of another Kid Creole track here, « I’m Corrupt », is much in-demand.

For the album, Strut also commissioned a fresh batch of versions, many transforming seminal ZE tracks which have previously been tricky to play in clubs. Richard Sen sews together brilliantly the two parts of James White’s fidgety « Almost Black », Italian DJ team The Barking Dogs create a tracky beast from Arto Lindsay’s beatless ZE experiment « Pini,Pini » and Luke Howard and Felix Dickinson from Horse Meat Disco create the best club version yet of Aural Exciters’ « Spooks In Space ». For the « heads », there are ultra-rare tracks too – Fat Camp resurrect a David Gamson track « No Turn On Red », previously only available on an NME cover mount cassette. ZEVOLUTION features an extensive booklet including an introduction by re-edit king Greg Wilson and sleeve notes by Bill Brewster of DJ History.

01 • KID CREOLE & THE COCONUTS • I'm Corrupt • Idjut Boys Edit • 6:24
Composed by Andy Hernandez 
Additional Production & Edited by Idjut Boys 
Originaly Producer by August Darnell
Original sound recording made by ZE Records © 1982

02 • GICHY DAN BEACHWOOD ≠ 9 • Cowboys & Gansters • Social Disco Club Edit• 7:18
Composed by Ron Rogers 
Additional Production & Edited by Social Disco Club Edit 
Originaly Producer by Ron Rogers
Original sound recording made by ZE Records © 1979

03 • GICHY DAN BEACHWOOD ≠ 9 • A Day Like Today • Todd Terje « Friendly Children » Edit • 5:01
Composed by August Darnell 
Additional Production & Edited by Todd Terje
Vocals by The beachwood Kids
Originaly Producer by August Darnell & Ron Rogers
Original sound recording made by ZE Records © 1979

04 • DAVID GAMSON • No Turn On Red • Fat Camp Version Edit • 5:48
Composed By  D. Gamson & R. Gamson 
Additional Production & Edited by Fat Camp 
Re-edit Engineered by Paul Noble
Synthesizer & Stylophone Solo by Andy Rogers 
Producer by David Gamson
Original sound recording made by ZE Records © 1982 

05 • MATERIAL Feat. NONA HENDRYX • Bustin' Out • Rub `N` Tug Edit • 8:52
Additional Production & Edited by Rub 'N' Tug
Original Mix by Tee Scott 
Originaly Produced by Martin Bisi & Material 
Written by Bill Laswell, Fred Maher, Michael Beinhorn, Nona Hendryx, Ronnie Drayton
Original sound recording made by ZE Records © 1980

06 • AURAL EXCITERS • Spooks In Space • Filthy & Foolish Edit • 7:37
Composed by Andy Hernandez & August Darnell 
Additional Production & Edited by Felix Dickinson, Luke Howard
Originaly Producer by Bob Blank
Original sound recording made by ZE Records © 1979

07 • WAS (NOT WAS) • Tell Me That I'm Dreaming • Greg Wilson ZE-Edit • 6:34
Composed by David Was & Don Was 
Additional Production & Edited by Greg Wilson
Originaly Producer by David Was & Don Was
Original sound recording made by ZE Records © 1981

08 • JAMES CHANCE & THE CONTORTIONS • Almost Black • Richard Sen's Padded Cell Edit • 5:28
Composed by James Siegfrield 
Additional Production & Edited by Richard Sen
Originaly Producer by DJames Chance
Original sound recording made by ZE Records © 1979

09 • GARCONS • Encore L'Amore • Leo Zero Edit • 5:56
Composed by Vidal & Fitoussi 
Additional Production & Edited by Leo Elstob
Originaly Producer by Michel Esteban & Michael Zilkha
Original sound recording made by ZE Records © 1979

10 • DON ARMANDO • I'm an Indian Too • Pilooski « Not The Indian » Mix • 8:17
Composed by Irving Berlin 
Additional Production & Edited by Pilooski
Originaly Producer by Michel Andy Hernandez
Original sound recording made by ZE Records © 1979

11 • KID CREOLE • Annie, I'm Not Your Daddy • 5:49
Soul Mekanik « Bounty Girls » Edit 
Composed by August Darnell
Arranged by Dan Aldea
Additional Production & Edited by Idjut Boys 
Originaly Producer by August Darnell
Original sound recording made by ZE Records © 1982

12 • ARTO / NETO • Pini, Pini • The Barking Dogs Edit • 6:02
Composed by Arto Lindsay & Seth Tillet 
Additional Production & Edited by Felix Dickinson, Luke Howard
Originaly Producer by Arto Lindsay
Original sound recording made by ZE Records © 1979

13 • MATERIAL Feat. NONA HENDRYX • Over & Over • Greg Wilson ZE-Edit • 6:13
Additional Production & Edited by Greg Wilson 
Original Mix by Tee Scott 
Originaly Produced by Martin Bisi & Material 
Written by Bill Laswell, Fred Maher, Michael Beinhorn, Nona Hendryx, Ronnie Drayton
Original sound recording made by ZE Records © 1980


Liner Notes by Bill Brewster  & Greg Wilson 
Mastered by Simon Francis 
A & R Quinton Scott 
Project Co-ordination by Joel Davies & Quinton Scott 
From an Original Concept by Michel Esteban 

This selection (p) & © 2009 ZE Records 
CD Distributed by Strut / K7


Original ZE Art  Cover Artwork by Michel Esteban

LINER NOTES By Greg Wilson

During my research for an article I wrote for Grandslam Magazine in 2003, called ‘When Punk Met Funk’, I exchanged a number of emails with ZE co-founder Michel Esteban.  Amongst other things, I learnt that he was planning to commission various remixers to update a number of the label’s cult classic tracks. Having been told this, it occurred to me that another way to present ZE to a contemporary audience, without compromising the underground integrity of the label, would be via a re-edits project, with the name ZE-Edits pretty much suggesting itself.

I put the idea to Michel and he gave me the go-ahead to set the wheels in motion, so I began to approach the people I thought would be right for the project - a dozen or so DJs whose contributions, I felt, would be essential if this album was to be a worthy representation of ZE’s rich legacy. The response couldn’t have been more positive - everyone I contacted was more than happy to get involved. There was an added bonus when Bill Brewster, co-author of ‘Last Night A DJ Saved My Life’ and ZE obsessive, offered to write the sleeve notes and contribute a Fat Camp edit.

So all was set and ready to go but, with a number of the edits already submitted (some of which appear here), the project unfortunately ground to a standstill. ZE-Edits was now on the backburner until further notice, and there the idea has remained – until now.

The fact that this album is finally surfacing on Strut brings a certain symmetry to all of this, as the label was actually highlighted within the opening paragraphs of my ‘When Punk Met Funk’ piece which, of course, was the catalyst for this whole process. In the article, when mentioning Strut’s acclaimed ‘Disco (Not Disco)’ series, I’d lamented the ‘”sadly defunct” label, which had folded in 2003. As fate would have it, Strut regenerated in 2008 and, as a consequence, has resurrected a project that I’d long ago filed under “what might have been”, but can now happily re-categorise as “meant to be” – it was all just a matter of timing.

Greg Wilson September 2009

LINER NOTES By Bill Brewster

If Oscar Wilde had lived through the 1980s, I like to think he may well have started ZE Records rather than faffing about with poetry and b*ggering minor royalty. ZE Records was the ultimate folly. Its owners Michael Zilkha, the heir to the Mothercare fortune, and Michel Esteban, a groovy Paris designer and businessman, collected together some of the most bizarre, brilliant, wondrous and avant-garde pop music ever committed to wax. 

Painfully hip thanks to the patronage of every post-modern pop journalist on the planet, time has been enormously kind to ZE Records, the label that lavished money on its productions like a fin de siècle Louis XIV. When Cristina, the muse and eventual wife of Zilkha, recorded her epic ‘Disco Clone’, she confided to Anthony Haden-Guest, “It’s so dreadful, it might just work.” It was a financial disaster. “It was Island’s most expensive failure,” confided Chris Blackwell at the time. It neatly summed up the ZE ethos: disorderly ideas before profit margins. 

Much of ZE’s early output revolved around a core team of musicians led by August Darnell, who delivered to the label Gichy Dan, Don Armando’s Second Avenue Rhumba Band, Kid Creole & The Coconuts and Coati Mundi as well as producing the disco Dorothy Parker, Cristina. Bob Blank’s Blank Tape Studio was ZE’s de facto music factory, where many of its craziest ideas were conceived: “Michael Zilkha had a lot of money but he was very visionary,” Blank remembers. “We recorded a lot of stuff and worked with a lot of artists who are now obviously listed as influential.” 

Cristina, vastly under-rated because of her relationship with Zilkha, is actually a wonderfully acerbic lyricist whose approach neatly summed up the ZE ethos. When she recorded the Leiber and Stoller staple ‘Is That All There Is?’, she played so fast and loose with their lyrics, they sued (the original “When I was a little girl the house caught on fire” was finessed into “When I was a little girl my mother set the house on fire. She was like that.”). ZE was a label that set fire to anything that stood in its way, including commercial common sense, which is why – like Factory Records – we view it with such unbounded nostalgia now. 


In the beginning was Bing Crosby. Bing’s shows were recorded and edited on magnetic tape by engineering pioneer Jack Mullin (who’d brought reel-to-reels back from Germany where they’d been used for Nazi propaganda). He was followed by European composer Pierre Schaeffer with his forays into musique concrète, utilising loops, tape cuts and vari-speeds to achieve a multitude of sounds. Then Delia Derbyshire, the genius of the Radiophonic Workshop, and George Martin who, along with the Beatles, experimented with tape editing on songs like ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’. 

So, what’s a re-edit? Unlike a remix, which uses all of the individual tracks (drums, bass, guitar etc.) from the original multi-track to create a new song, the re-edit uses only the finished master recording to re-organise the song into a more dynamic form. The purpose is not to improve the song but rather improve its functionality and the task of a good editor is to improve or re-invent. The re-edit is the Bovril of the discotheque: concentrated beef stock.

The first editing genius was Tom Moulton, who was inspired by the wayward mixing of DJs he heard on Fire Island. Moulton resolved to edit a mix together on reel-to-reel: “I watched how people got off the floor and they always got off the floor on the one. Now that's interesting. Let me try and start a record that's before the one. So that way, if they go to leave, they're already dancing to the next record. That was the hardest. I made one side of 45 minutes and it took me 80 hours. In other words I would get the record playing out and bring the other record in on the over-hang, just for two or three seconds, so they would flow.”

But Moulton was an editor rather than a re-editor. Walter Gibbons was responsible for the first legally available disco mix when he edited ‘Ten Percent’ by Double Exposure into a nine-minute epic. Gibbons was notorious for his skill at editing live in his club, Galaxy 21, and several of his early live edits were recreated by François K who, at the time, was a young drummer at the club. “I started making acetates and dub plates of my own edits,” explains François. “The first one I made was called ‘Happy Song’. It was just a copy of what Walter Gibbons used to do with ‘Happy Song And Dance’. I had made all these little dubplates which were concentrated energy at the time; it was difficult for a DJ to do all these fancy moves all the time all night. My dubplates were really a kind of greatest hits formula.” 

François’ comments are reinforced by Steve Stein (aka Erreur ! Contact non défini.), himself no slouch with the blade and tape. “Many cut-ups are essentially compilations of peak moments – one burner after another – so that, along with the tension of different elements side-by-side, there’s also the energy distilled from the intense moments, making a sort of mega-peak.”

Danny Krivit, the modern master of the form, learnt his chops watching an engineer struggle on a mix. “My first mix was ‘Chill Pill’ on Sleeping Bag. During the session I knew what I wanted but the engineer kept saying, ‘Oh we'll fix that in the editing’. And towards the end he started to do an edit, but he couldn't do it. I was getting frustrated with this guy, literally half the session he was trying to do this edit. We salvaged it but I walked out of there thinking, ‘I know how to edit’, just from seeing what he did wrong.”

Krivit, of course, is responsible for some of classic New York staples such MFSB’s ‘Love Is The Message’ (deftly welded together with ‘Love Break’), ‘Rock The House’, ‘Feeling James’ (a ‘Funky Drummer’ re-work), ‘My First Mistake’ and ‘Just Us’. The list is endless. Since the advent of house there was Harvey and Gerry Rooney’s now legendary Black Cock label and Dave Lee’s Better Days. In the Noughties, there has been an explosion of edits, many of them unnecessary and plenty of them downright offensive, with the occasional outbreak of genius. 

It helps somewhat when the material is of such quality that you can hardly go wrong, as is the case with the magnificent ZE Records catalogue. This compilation is a mixture of the newly-minted and old, gathering together edits that have sneaked out in an ‘unofficial’ capacity previously as well as material commissioned for this project or tunes simply done for the pleasure of the editor’s singular fiendish desires. Here we present some of the best editors in the business, cutting a swathe through the fripperies and malfortunes of ropey drum fills and off-key songs, to bring the concentrated ZE experience: ZEVOLUTION, no less. 



Original version taken from the ZE / Island LP ‘Tropical Gangsters’ (ILPS 7016). Composed by Andy Hernandez. Published by Coati Mundi Music. Produced by August Darnell. Additional production & re-edit by Idjut Boys. Original sound recording made by ZE Records © 1982

The path to enlightenment and riches is long and arduous, especially when you have a fedora and Zoot suit habit to maintain. Originally a member of half-brother Stony Browder’s Dr Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band, Darnell had a vision that eventually found an ideal outlet in Kid Creole & The Coconuts. Originally a series of demos made for Warner Chappell (Darnell’s publisher), once Michael Zilkha heard them, Kid Creole and his venerable Coconuts became one of the first assignments undertaken at Bob Blank’s newly founded studio. “I only found out later, but August would book all night sessions because he had no place to live so he could work all night and then sleep at somebody’s apartment,” laughs Blank. ‘I’m Corrupt’ is taken from his best-selling album ‘Tropical Gangsters’, one of the few albums that requires the listener to change costume at least twice during its consumption (it was also recorded by Coati Mundi on a later LP).

The editor… The Idjut Boys made their name running the Noid and U-Star labels in the 1990s and have continued to plough a unique furrow combining idjutry, DJing and an inexplicable affection for West Ham United. They have also been known to re-edit everything from disco classics to Phil Collins. 


Original version taken from the ZE / Island LP ‘Mutant Disco: A Subtle Dislocation of The Norm’ (ISSP 4001). Composed by Ron Rogers. Published by Chappell Music. Produced by Ron Rogers. Re-edit by Social Disco Club. Original sound recording made by ZE Records © 1979

The unsung hero of the ZE Records story is surely Ron Rogers, who had a hand in so many of their best releases yet always seems to be hiding, Zelig-like, behind someone more prominent. Ron wrote and produced ‘Cowboys & Gangsters’, one of the few ZE releases that is regarded as a bona fide disco classic. Ron Hardy, whose repetitive editing style was both a precursor to and major influence on house music, famously edited it. 

The editor… Social Disco Club is the pseudonym employed by Porto’s Humberto Matias for his sonic excursions into Balearic grooves and the more horizontal side of disco, although he does know how to make a dancefloor go “Ooh”, too. He has released music on Bear Funk, Mindless Boogie and Eskimo Recordings. 


Original version taken from the RCA Victor LP ‘Gichy Dan’s Beachwood No. 9’ (AFLI-2938). Vocals by The Beachwood Kids. Composed by August Darnell. Published by Raineyville Music admin. by Bug Music. Produced by August Darnell & Ron Rogers for Gichy Dan Music Productions, Inc. Re-edit by Todd Terje. Original sound recording made by ZE Records © 1979

Gichy Dan, so the story goes, was conceived by August Darnell when the songs he’d written for the Savannah Band were deemed inappropriate. No wonder he left and formed Kid Creole & The Coconuts. And so Gichy Dan was born (since he never really existed one can only assume the backing vocals he contributed to various records may well have been August himself). Recruiting Juan and Lourdes Cotto and Frank Passalacqua, the album was made in Blank Tapes with co-producer Ron Rogers. ‘On A Day Like Today’ is on the sole album they cut under the name Gichy Dan’s Beachwood #9. 

The Editor… New kid on the block, Oslo-based Todd Terje was at kindergarten when he released his first disco edit. His reputation as an editor was confirmed with Michael Jackson’s ‘I Can’t Help It’, championed by Gilles Peterson and many others. When he is not editing he studies astrophysics and builds rockets in his garden shed. 


Original version featured on the NME Cassette ‘Jive Wire’ (NME 002). Composed by D. Gamson & R. Gamson. Published by Island Songs Ltd. Produced by David Gamson. Additional production & re-edit by Fat Camp. Re-edit engineered by Paul Noble. Stylophone solo by Andy Rogers. Original sound recording made by ZE Records © 1982

Although officially a ZE Records recording, somewhat inexplicably, ‘No Turn On Red’ never made it onto the label, its only appearance as a cassette-only release on the second of NME’s influential early ’80s ‘Jive Wire’ compilations. Gamson’s first release was a novel electronic reading of the Archies’ ‘Sugar Sugar’, which was released on Rough Trade after a chance meeting with owner Geoff Travis. Although ‘No Turn On Red’ did not receive a full release, it was through this production that Scritti Politti’s Green Gartside heard about Gamson, the result of which Gamson joined the band. Subsequently, Gamson has produced everyone from Chaka Khan to Sheila E and Michael MacDonald. 

The Editor… Fat Camp is the bastard lovechild of sound engineer and bon viveur Paul Noble and his pet ferret Bill Brewster. Together they faff about with old records assisted only by Pro-Tools, PG Tips and the company of a small black spaniel called Jarvis. They have had original edits officially released by Jackson 5 and Wood, Brass & Steel among others. They live in a potting shed in Bedford. 


Original version taken from the ZE / Island 12” single (12 WIP 6713). Written by Bill Laswell, Michael Beinhorn, Frederick Maher, Nona Hendryx & Ronnie Drayton. Published by Bug Music, Nation Music & Raineyville Music. Produced by Material & Martin Bisi. Original mix by Tee Scott. Re-edit by Rub ‘N’ Tug. Original sound recording made by ZE Records © 1980

‘Bustin’ Out’ was where New York artrock collided with New Jersey diva, to produce one of ZE’s most powerful dancefloor records. It was the brainchild of bassist Bill Laswell, whose band originally backed Daevid Allen of Gong before heading towards the door marked ‘Leftfield’. Laswell’s approach was similar to that of the Was brothers in Detroit: throw disparate ideas together just to see what would happen. Thus Material’s recordings ranged from barking Hi-NRG to metal-funk and frankly undanceable experiments. ‘Bustin’ Out’ was the nearest Laswell ever got to being commercial and yet, even here, it still has grit in the ointment led by coarse guitar figures and sandpaper basslines. Before signing with ZE Records, Material had already released a series of innovative, yet more tentative, productions via their Temporary Music series (No. 1 was produced, oddly, by Giorgio Gomelsky, who ran the Crawdaddy Club and managed the Rolling Stones in the early ’60s) and would later release a variety of electro, hip hop and rock productions through Jean Karakos’ Celluloid Records, before heading off into deep dub and world music. A master of the bass guitar, Laswell is still one of America’s most singular musicians and wears a beret even more adeptly than Frank Spencer. 

The Editor… Rub ’N’ Tug, the alias of Eric Duncan and Thomas Bullock, are known for their sleazy take on house and disco and a fast-and-loose style of DJing that relies as much on ready supplies of Jack Daniels as it does technical ability. They are known as remixers, producers and editors, but more importantly, as party people. 


Original version taken from the ZE LP ‘Spooks In Space’ (ZEA33-001). Written by Andy Hernandez & August Darnell. Published by Warner Chappell Music. Produced by Bob Blank. Re-edit by Luke Howard & Felix Dickinson. Original sound recording made by ZE Records © 1979

Aural Exciters, like many things in Blank Tape Studios, was a happy accident. As a band, they never existed outside of the studio and Bob Blank and songwriter Ron Rogers’ head. The initial impetus for the project came from the recording of ‘Spooks In Space’. Rogers turned up at Bob’s studio one day and said, “Let’s make a record. Let’s do it in an hour or two.” The piano and vocal for ‘Spooks In Space’ were recorded in one take. “Ronnie made it up, the laughing and everything,” chuckles Bob Blank. “ZE Records thought it was great. All of a sudden, there’s a record! That’s how a lot of the records at that time were made.” The Exciters was essentially anyone who was there at the time, culled from a pool that included Patrick Adams’ collaborators like Stan Lucas and Ken Mazur on guitar, drummer Richie Kessler or ZE staples like Pat Place, Coati Mundi, James Chance and the Kid Creole band. “They weren't the kind of sessions where we’d book it and hand out arrangements to musicians,” explains Blank. “Nobody sat and conceptualised the Aural Exciters.”

The editor… Filthy Luka was, in a former life, Luke Howard, resident at Queer Nation for several decades (he definitely has a Dorian Gray-like picture in his attic) but these days rocking the (Horse Meat) disco most Sundays in Vauxhall. His partner-in-crime on this nefarious venture is Foolish Felix, old cohort of Harvey et al and a fully-fledged member of the Brixton Badger Mounting Society, a secretive acid house organisation based in the heart of South London. 


Original version taken from the ZE / Island 12” single (DISD 50011). Composed and Produced by Donald Was & David Was. Published by Island Music Ltd.

Re-edit by Greg Wilson. Original sound recording made by ZE Records © 1981

If all the musical clouds that floated through post-war Detroit – the jazz of Elvin Jones, the soul of Berry Gordy, the coruscating funk of Parliament, the metallic clang of the MC5 – were distilled into one group, the chances are that it might well have sounded exactly like Was (Not Was). Almost alone on ZE Records, they actually made orthodox dance records although, as with everything on Zilkha and Esteban’s label, it always came with a serious twist. “Before we did Was (Not Was) I was trying to make dance records,” explains Don Was. “But I didn’t like all the things with the strings. The record that blew my mind was ‘You’re The One For Me’ which François Kevorkian mixed - he did stuff that I was trying to do with Was (Not Was). We tried to do it with ‘Tell Me That I’m Dreaming’. If you’re gonna do a dance mix, don’t just boost the bass drum but make it really for dancing.” They looked for a DJ with whom to collaborate. “I started asking around Detroit as to who the best DJ was and it kept coming back to Ken Collier. We’d sit up all night and do these mixes with Ken, and another guy Duane Bradley. It was contentious in a fun way because they hated a lot of the stuff I was trying to make ” Don laughs hard at that; as the vindicated do. 

The editor… Greg Wilson made his name 30 years ago at such clubs as Wigan Pier, Legend and the Haçienda as a leading light of the burgeoning electrofunk scene. He retired from DJing in the ’80s to concentrate on management but began DJing again after being invited to play at a party in Manchester in 2003. He has released a series of edit 12-inches as well as a compilation on Tirk, ‘Credit To The Edit’. He was also the original driving force behind this compilation. 


Original version taken from the ZE LP ‘Off White’ (ZEA33-003). Composed & Produced by James Siegried. Published by Copastatic (BMI). Additional production & re-edit by Richard Sen. Original sound recording made by ZE Records © 1979

Young, beautiful and inordinately gifted, James White should’ve been huge. His records combined jazz, punk, and funk with a side order of sado-masochism and sounded like nothing else on ZE or, indeed, anywhere else. His approach to jazz took it into wildly different areas, alongside peers like James Blood Ulmer and Ornette Coleman (an influence on his work), and arguably brought it considerably nearer to its speakeasy roots in violent opposition to the considered modernists of the Marsalis generation. Ultimately, his career was derailed by a drug addiction (how jazz is that?). Bob Blank claims that despite the stage altercations and his drug predilections, he was very easy to work with. “James was always a gentleman,” explains Blank. “He was always focused and very polite. The problem with people on heroin is that they can sometimes be a little unreliable. But the music, the frantic craziness of the music that happened in the studio, was very controlled, and he was very professional. That James White album is very influenced by James Brown and I was married to Lola Love who was with the James Brown band. When my wife came into the studio he literally fell on his knees in front of her and said, ‘I really enjoyed what you did!’ It was so sweet.”

The editor… Richard Sen was a teenage tagger before finding a career in music. He was a fixture in London record shops for many years and cut his production teeth as part of Bronx Dogs. As one half of Padded Cell, he has recorded an album for the excellent DC Recordings and is known for the occasional judicious edit or two. 


Original ‘unreleased Italian version’ taken from the ZE CD re-issue ‘Mutant Disco: A Subtle Discolation of The Norm’ (ZEREC CD002). Composed by Patrick Vidal & Erik Fitoussi. Published by E Sound. Produced by Michel Esteban & Michael Zilkha. Additional production & re-edit by Leo Elstob. Original sound recording made by ZE Records © 1979

Michel Esteban, the French half of ZE records, first got into the music industry via Marie et les Garçons, the new wave band led by Patrick Vidal (the name was shortened to Garçons after the departure of Marie Girard). They released their second single, ‘Re-Bop’, on Spy Records, a ZE prototype label Esteban and Zilkha briefly ran with John Cale and Jane Friedman. Garçons followed the pair to ZE. ‘Divorce’ – from where ‘Encore L’Amore’ originates – was recorded in New York with almost the same band that featured on Cristina’s debut album, including the gifted Argentinian arranger Carlos Franzetti, who scored many disco hits. Vidal is regarded as a legendary figure in the French dance industry today (a friend once recalled walking into a club with Vidal; when everyone noticed him they started applauding). 

The editor… Leo Zero, aka Leo Elstob, is a DJ, producer and graphic designer based in London. He was originally involved in promoting the Soulsonic weekly party with Stuart Patterson before branching out into various projects, including running his own label (Easter Bay) and various aliases, including Rat Salad. He has released several edits including the monster ‘Baby’s Band’ on the ‘Le Disco’ compilation released earlier this year on DJ History. 


Original version taken from the ZE 12” single (ZEA 12-003). Composed by Irving Berlin. Published by Irving Berlin Music. Produced by Andy Hernandez. Additional production & remix by Pilooski. Original sound recording made by ZE Records © 1979

Don Armando Bonilla was originally the percussion player in Dr Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band before putting together this one-off album for the ZE stable (he was also a prolific sideman playing for the likes of Lalo Schifrin). It featured the redoubtable talents of Fonda Rae, who also recorded with Kid Creole, the Aural Exciters and with Patrick Adams under the name Rainbow Brown. Fonda was due to record a solo album for ZE with August Darnell as producer but, according to Bob Blank, “Fonda was very good but she always had a boyfriend who was a talent and she said ‘No, my boyfriend has to produce it and he’s gonna play bass on it and sing.’ So the record company said: ‘Not on our album, he's not.’ She just walked away from success.” ‘I’m An Indian Too’ is, of course, a cover of the Irving Berlin classic that originally featured in ‘Annie Get Your Gun.’

The editor… Paris-based Pilooski caused a sensation with his edit of Frankie Valli’s ‘Beggin’’  during 2007. He has since followed it up with a bewildering range of styles, from turning Elvis Presley into a deep house crooner to drawing the disco juice from LCD Soundsystem. 


Original version taken from the ZE / Island LP ‘Tropical Gangsters’ (ILPS 7016). Composed & Produced by August Darnell. Arranged by Dan Aldea. Published by Cri Cri Music. Produced by August Darnell. Additional production & re-edit by Soul Mekanik. Original sound recording made by ZE Records © 1982

August Darnell was a man out of his time and, arguably, everyone else’s. His lack of sustained commercial success in America can probably be explained by his disdain for any one style or genre or even language (Stony Browder and August used to scoff at Savannah Band producer Sandy Linzer for insisting on everything being sung in English), with his songs effortlessly flitting through show tunes, calypso, soul, rock’n’roll, doo wop, soca, pop and disco, all often presented with a lyric that would have been more at home in 1950s musical (dig a little deeper, though, and they were often surprisingly autobiographical). During the early ’80s, he was once quizzed about the Romantics: “The real Romantic movement, that harkens back to Frank Sinatra and the great crooners such as Nat King Cole and Patti Page and also harkens back to great songwriters such as Gershwin, Cole Porter and Sondheim. Yes, there’s definitely a renaissance of that movement,” ‘Annie, I’m Not Your Daddy’, from the hit ‘Tropical Gangsters’ album, is a surprisingly un-macho lyric and also contains the best use of the word “onomatopoeia” in recorded pop history (so what if it’s really, “I don’t want to be your”….).

The editor… When Soul Mekanik are not making edits for their DJ sets or releasing new music to fuel their dancefloors, they have been known to produce the odd pop star or two. Brothers Danny and Kelvin have been working together for over 20 years in various guises, among them Sure Is Pure and Sound 5. 

Bill Brewster

Track List
  • 1
    I'm Corrupt - Kid Creole & the Coconuts - Idjut Boys Edit
  • 2
    Cowboys & Gangsters - Gichy Dan's Beachwood # 9 - Social Disco Club Edit
  • 3
    A Day Like Today - Gichy Dan's Beachwood # 9 - Todd Terje « Friendly Children » Edit
  • 4
    Fat - David Gramson - Camp Version Edit
  • 5
    Bustin' Out - Material & Nona Hendryx - Rub'n Tug Edit
  • 6
    Spooks In Space - Aural Exciters - Filthy & Foolish Edit
  • 7
    Tell Me That I'm Dreaming - Was (Not Was) - Greg Wilson ZE-Edit
  • 8
    Almost Black - James Chance & The Contortions - Richard Sen's Padded Cell Edit
  • 9
    Encore l'Amour - Garçons - Leo Zero Edit
  • 10
    I'm an Indian Too - Don Armando's 2nd Av. Rhumba Band - Piloosky Edit Version
  • 11
    Annie, I'm Not Your Daddy - Kid Creole & the Coconuts - Soul Mekanik Edit
  • 12
    Pini, Pini - Arto Lindsay - The Barking Dogs Edit
  • 13
    Over & Over - Material & Nona Hendryx - Greg Wilson Edit
  • 14
    Cowboys & Gangsters - Gichy Dan's Beachwood # 9 - Brennan Green Edit